Multifaceted Approach to Personality Assessment in Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

– The purpose of this study was to assess the personality of 17 South African cheetahs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. A multifaceted approach of observer ratings (rating method), behavioral data (coding method) and hormone monitoring was used to examine individual differences. Knowledge of these individual differences, i.e., personality, is essential to better […]

Impacts of natural history and exhibit factors on carnivore welfare

To improve the welfare of nonhuman animals under professional care, zoological institutions are continuously utilizing new methods to identify factors that lead to optimal welfare. Comparative methods have historically been used in the field of evolutionary biology but are increasingly being applied in the field of animal welfare. In the current study, data were obtained […]

Reproductive Viability Analysis (RVA) as a new tool for ex situ population management

Many animal populations managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) have low rates of reproductive success. It is critical that individuals recommended to breed are successful to achieve genetic and demographic goals set by the SSP. Identifying factors that impact reproductive success can inform managers on best practices and […]

Improving the sustainability of ex situ populations with mate choice

Many breeding programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) are not meeting goals for population size and genetic diversity due to failure of recommended pairs to breed successfully. According to AZA Population Management Center analyses, as many as 80% of recommended breeding pairs fail to produce young before […]

Boldness-mediated habitat use tactics and reproductive success in a wild large herbivore

The balance between resource acquisition and risk avoidance should vary according to personality type, with potential knock-on effects for fitness. Although previous studies have suggested a link between boldness and fitness components, little evidence is available on the behavioural mechanisms mediating this relationship in the wild. Because habitat use is the outcome of the trade-off […]

Social personality in sheep: Can social strategies predict individual differences in cognitive abilities, morphology features, and reproductive success?

Social personality can be key factor in evolution because of intraindividual consistency, heritable basis, and linkage with fitness. The aim of this study was to identify the existence of sheep personality profiles based on the use of social strategies and its associations on morphological, cognitive, and reproductive success. Fifty adult ewes, housed indoor, were studied […]

The effect of flipper banding on the breeding success of African Penguins Spheniscus demersus at Boulders Beach, South Africa

Concerns have been expressed over the impact of flipper banding on the survival and reproductive performance of penguins. This study compared the breeding success of banded and unbanded African Penguins Spheniscus demersus at Boulders Beach, South Africa, in 2006. It was based on 100 nests; 50 had at least one banded adult and 50 had […]

The costs of chronic noise exposure for terrestrial organisms

Growth in transportation networks, resource extraction, motorized recreation and urban development is responsible for chronic noise exposure in most terrestrial areas, including remote wilderness sites. Increased noise levels reduce the distance and area over which acoustic signals can be perceived by animals. Here, we review a broad range of findings that indicate the potential severity […]

Effects of hand-rearing on the reproductive success of western lowland gorillas in North America

This study sought to assess the potential effects of hand-rearing by evaluating the relationships among rearing type and reproductive success in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Species Survival Plan® for western lowland gorillas. Our study included data on 697 gorillas: 257 wild-born (WB) and 440 born at zoos or related facilities in North America. […]

Life span, reproductive output, and reproductive opportunity in captive Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20239.abs In the absence of long-term field studies, demographic and reproductive records from animals housed in zoos and research laboratories are a valuable tool for the study of life history variables relating to reproduction. In this study, we analyzed studbook records of more than 2,000 individuals born over a 40-year period (1965–2004) to describe […]